Celebrating Agriculture in Canada!

Canada’s Agriculture Day is on February 13th, and we’re excited to celebrate! Canada’s Agriculture Day (#CdnAgDay) is an annual celebration that highlights the significance of agriculture in our daily lives. It serves as a reminder of the hard work, dedication, and innovation of farmers and agricultural professionals who contribute to the sustenance and prosperity of our nation. In this post, we will explore some fascinating facts about Canada’s agricultural industry, sourced from the Agriculture More Than Ever website.

Canadian farmers are responsible for producing an abundance of high-quality food. They provide Canadians with a diverse range of nutritious products, including grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and more. Moreover, Canada is a global leader in agricultural exports, with over $67 billion worth of agricultural products exported each year.

A Pillar of the Economy

Canada’s agricultural sector is a vital contributor to the nation’s economy. It generates over $110 billion in GDP annually and employs approximately 2.3 million Canadians. This industry plays a crucial role in supporting rural communities and fostering economic growth across the country.

Threats to Agriculture

Farmland is a finite resource that covers only about 7% of Canada’s land base and yet is constantly competing with urban sprawl, aggregate operations, and industrial use. There is also an increasing demand for farmland for energy production and storage. However, once you pave over farmland, it’s gone forever and cannot be revived for agricultural use. 

Canada’s population is nearing 40 million people, and there is pressure of producing more to meet the demands of the nation. To feed our growing population, we need to ensure we protect our food-producing landscapes. 

The Importance of Protecting Farmland

The agriculture and agri-food sector is a major contributor to the Canadian economy. Everyone in Canada relies on agriculture in some form or another, from the food we eat to the jobs in our communities. In 2022, the agrifood sector provided 1 in 9 jobs in Canada.

Farmland also plays a critical role in providing food and shelter for wildlife. Many species at risk rely on farmland for habitat. Farmland offers ecosystem services such as mitigating flooding risk, and sequestering carbon. When farmland is used for non-agricultural purposes, it is not able to provide all of these amazing benefits.

The Future of Farming

Farmers across Canada are committed to sustainable practices and environmental stewardship. Many employ innovative techniques to minimize their environmental footprint, such as precision agriculture, crop rotation, and conservation tillage. These efforts help preserve soil health, protect water resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With better planning policies, density levels, and intensification, we can limit the amount of land we are losing.

Our Role in Agriculture 

The Ontario Farmland Trust (OFT) is directly related to agriculture as it is an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving farmland in Ontario, Canada. OFT works towards ensuring the long-term viability of agriculture by partnering with farmers and farmland owners to establish Conservation Easement Agreements on their land, which ensures their farmland will never be converted to urban development or other non-agricultural uses, while the landowners maintain full ownership of their property.  By doing this, OFT helps to safeguard farmland from being converted to non-agricultural uses such as urban development or industrial purposes.

Canada’s Agriculture Day provides an occasion to recognize and appreciate the immense contributions of Canada’s agricultural industry. Farmers and agricultural professionals play a vital role in our society, from feeding the nation to driving economic growth and embracing sustainable practices. Let us celebrate their hard work, dedication, and innovation, and continue to support and promote the growth of this essential sector. 

Read more about ways we can support farmers for a competitive and sustainable future.

Remember, agriculture is more than just food production; it is a way of life that connects us to the land, sustains our communities, and shapes our nation’s future. Don’t forget to thank a farmer for the food on your plate on February 13 and every day! Without our amazing farmers across Canada, we don’t have farmland, food production, or a robust local agri-food sector. 

Happy Canada’s Agriculture Day! 

Sources:

  1. Agriculture More Than Ever: https://agriculturemorethanever.ca/cdn-ag-day/
  2. Overview of Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector- Government of Canada: https://agriculture.canada.ca/en/sector/overview